Naming Etiquette?

I’m not TTC or expecting as of yet, so this is more of a “how to avoid an awkward situation” thread, but here it goes.

One of our favourite names for a boy at the moment is [name_m]Bryson[/name_m]. It’s been a favourite of mine for quite a while (a few years, anyways!), and, after our #1 pick of [name_m]Aaron[/name_m], [name_m]Bryson[/name_m] would be my choice, hands down.

That being said, this is the name of my cousin’s ex long-term boyfriend, he was essentially part of the family.

Though it happened about 3 years ago, my mum and sister both said I should probably avoid the name [name_m]Bryson[/name_m] as it might make things “awkward” in my family.

[name_m]How[/name_m] would you go about this? Normally I’m very much a “tell the family member to suck it up and use the name anyway” type, but this one seems a little bit different.


Have you asked your cousin how they’d feel about it? Honestly, if I was them, I wouldn’t care, but I don’t know the situation regarding the split. It was 3 years ago, though, so I can’t see even a slight problem.

Oooh, that’s a tough situation. Are you close enough to the cousin to ask how she’d feel about it? Normally I wouldn’t nix a name based on that, but if both your mum and sister still thought of that association and are still leery of it given the breakup wasn’t recent, maybe it’s best to use it as a middle. (I’m not sure about your family but I’m not sure my extended family would remember my middle name at all, so whatever it was they wouldn’t really be bothered.)

[name_m]Just[/name_m] wondering, when you asked your mum and sister, did you mention the ex when asking? - i.e. “does [name_m]Bryson[/name_m] make you think of cousin’s ex?” vs. “what do you think of the name [name_m]Bryson[/name_m]?”. You can ask other family members too if you feel comfortable. If no one comes up with the association unprompted, you’re definitely good to go.

I would probably be uncomfortable if someone in my family used my ex’s name. But also my Ex’s name was very unusual - he is literally the only person myself or my family have met with his name - so it is more closely linked whereas I think [name_m]Bryson[/name_m] has other associations.

It’s definitely something that might be best talking to your cousin about, if that’s something you can do.

Since you’re not TTC yet and your first son will likely be [name_m]Aaron[/name_m] or you may have girls first, I assume it’s still at least a few years more till you may get to use [name_m]Bryson[/name_m]. I’ll just keep [name_m]Bryson[/name_m] on the short list and see how is the situation later. And if you’re close enough to your cousin, better ask her how does she feel about it.

Personally, I’d rather avoid my ex’s name, but if a family member has a cute little baby named that, then I think it’ll actually give me new association and see this name in a new light. That being said, my ex broke my heart big time, but wasn’t a terrible person in general. If the break up is much uglier (abussive, cheating, etc) then maybe I’ll feel different and a bit annoyed with my cousin using his name.

This. You may end up with [name_m]Aaron[/name_m] and girls making it a mute point. I don’t think it’s worth stressing about until the time comes.

Personally, if I were in this situation, it would depend on the cousin as I’m closer to some than others. [name_m]Even[/name_m] if I did love the name [name_m]Adam[/name_m], say, I’d never use him if he and my cousin ever break up, just because he’s literally part of my family. But, if I loved the name [name_u]Ashley[/name_u], I would still use her even if she and my cousin got a divorce just because I’m not in contact with that part of my family.

I’d ask your cousin how they feel about it. Also, as pp has said, you may not even have a [name_m]Bryson[/name_m] for a few years and the connection may be less raw? It also depends on the circumstances of the breakup, like [name_f]Luna[/name_f] said.

In the majority of cases, I advice to choose the name you like. But if the connection is too strong, you had better discuss it with your cousin. I would prefer to choose another name than to hurt a person I love. No name is more important than family, especially if there isn’t another story behind it.

I would ask your cousin. If they are okay with it, the wider family can’t really complain.